Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD, Brendan Smith has been informed by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD that the Office of Public Works is finalising planning documentation and a part 9 Planning application will be lodged in the coming weeks.
Minister Donohoe in his reply to Deputy Brendan Smith stated that once the planning process has been completed the OPW will then undertake the required public procurement process for construction works.
Deputy Brendan Smith stated that modern and adequate accommodation for the Bailieboro Garda District Headquarters is badly needed and he appealed to the OPW to have this project progressed to construction stage at the earliest possible date.
For Written Answer on : 30/05/2018
Question Number(s): *93 Question Reference(s): 23975/18 Written
Department: Public Expenditure and Reform
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
* To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position regarding a building project (details supplied) and the provision of new accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Brendan Smith TD
The Office of Public Works is finalising planning documentation and a Part 9 Planning application will be lodged in the coming weeks. Once the Planning process has been completed the OPW will then undertake the required Public Procurement Process for construction works.
– 157 children in HSE North West region waiting more than 3 months for an appointment
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has criticised the Minister with responsibility for Disabilities for failing to tackle the unacceptable delays in Assessment of Needs (AON) appointments for children with disabilities.
His criticism comes in the wake of new figures, which were provided to Fianna Fáil, and reveal that there are a total of 201 children in the HSE North West region whose applications are overdue for completion. 157 of these are waiting more than 3 months.
Deputy Brendan Smith explained, “The number of children with disabilities on the Assessment of Needs waiting list is continuing to increase – between March and May this year the number of children waiting for an appointment in the HSE North West area, which includes Cavan and Monaghan, has risen from 178 to 201. That’s a jump of almost 13%.
“When will Minister Finian McGrath wake up to the seriousness of this situation? Early intervention is essential in assessing the needs of children with disabilities, but the majority of children in this region are waiting more than 3 months for an assessment to be undertaken.
“While I don’t dispute Minister McGrath’s intentions, the fact of the matter is that the delays are only getting worse. The Minister needs to take a tougher line with his Fine Gael colleagues to ensure delivery on this very important issue. Currently, children with disabilities are being done a great disservice.
“Until children with disabilities receive their AON report, they are unable to receive the full therapeutic supports needed to enable them lead normal lives.
“I am calling on Minister McGrath to identify why assessments are not being completed on time and to allocated the necessary resources to ensure that these unacceptable waiting times are reduced,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has once again called on the government to bring forward strong proposals in relation to the need to protect CAP funding. He wants to see the CAP budget increased, saying a reduction in funding “cannot be countenanced”.
Deputy Brendan Smith raised the issue with the Minister for Agriculture in the Dáil this week.
“I am extremely concerned by the commentary following the March meeting of the EU Agriculture Council of Ministers, where CAP post-2020 was the main item on the agenda. The proposal to cut the CAP budget by 5% is particularly worrying, given the fact that these payments make up the bulk of farm incomes for many families, not only across Cavan and Monaghan, but right across the country”, said Deputy Brendan Smith.
“While I appreciate that the decision by Britain to withdraw from the EU has a substantial impact on the amount of funding available, I believe the remaining 27 countries should contribute more to negate a shortfall.
“I welcome the Taoiseach’s address to the European Parliament earlier this year in which he indicated that Ireland is open to contributing more. Our government needs to press for other countries to do the same but so far has failed to do so, which has effectively resulted in this 5% cut.
“This is the second cut to CAP budgets under Fine Gael’s watch. A 10% cut was applied under the 2014-2020 CAP deal. Our Ministers need to prove themselves and get back to the negotiating table. Unless the CAP budget is retained, it will spell major financial difficulty for our farmers and primary producers”.
I fully support the request of the O’Farrell family following the tragic death of Shane in August 2011. Such an investigation is needed because of the totally inadequate investigations to date. The recent Report by GSOC does not deal in any comprehensive manner with the sequence of events and the inadequacy of the criminal justice system that led up to the collision that caused Shane’s untimely death and the immeasurable loss to his family and friends.
Photo above – Attending a Press Conference calling for a Public Inquiry held by Shane’s mother, Lucia O’Farrell and other family members.
– FF motion passed over one year ago and we’re still waiting –
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has expressed his frustration with the Communications Minister for failing to publish two independent reviews into the North-South interconnector.
Last year Fianna Fáil brought forward a motion in the Dáil and the Seanad calling for an independent review to be carried out. These motions were passed in both Houses but we are still waiting for the reports to be published.
Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “Minister Naughten is blatantly ignoring the will of the Dáil and Seanad in delaying the publication of these reports. The Minister himself has admitted that “the Consultants undertaking the two studies have finalised their reports”. If that’s the case, why is there a delay in their publication?
“This government has taken a very hands-off approach to this issue. Minister Naughten has not met with any of the local action groups since February 2017, and his officials last met them in April last year. A full 12 months have passed and local communities are extremely angry that no progress on this issue has been made, despite the Dáil and Seanad backing their opposition to the construction of interconnector as it currently stands.
“Fianna Fáil has consistently argued for the undergrounding of this project and the purpose of these independent reviews was to examine all the latest information available.
“Unfortunately, the reviews commissioned by the Minister are not as comprehensive as those required by the Dáil and Seanad. However, now that they have been completed I am calling on Minister Naughten to publish the findings without delay”.
Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil T.D. Brendan Smith has welcomed the decision by the Minister of Children to provide grant aid to a number of childcare facilities throughout Cavan/Monaghan.
Deputy Brendan Smith stated that this grant aid will be beneficial in assisting the upgrading of existing facilities and also the provision of new accommodation. He added that many of the childcare facilities throughout Cavan/Monaghan were constructed in the early 2000’s and some need upgrading/maintenance and the provision of additional accommodation to meet increasing enrolments.
Deputy Brendan Smith complimented the private and community childcare providers throughout this area on their initiatives in upgrading and providing new accommodation.
ENDS – Details of grants attached – Strand 1, 2, etc.
Strand 1 by CCCStrand 2 by CCCStrand 3 by CCCStrand 4 by CCCStrand 5 by CCC
PRESS RELEASE: Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D., announces total of €6.87m in Capital funding to be awarded to providers of Early Years and School Age Childcare this summer
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has strongly criticised the government for its failure to implement a series of recommendations contained in the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance.
The government released the fifth progress update on the report last week, managing to slip it out under the radar and conceal its lack of action on the issue.
Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “The timing of the release of this progress report in itself speaks volumes. There has virtually been no media coverage of the information, which reveals minimum action on the issue of tackling high insurance costs. For all of their talk on the issue, motor insurance customers, businesses, charities, sports clubs and lots of other people are paying way over the odds for insurance.
“Many of the recommendations contained in the report have still not been implemented. One of the key measures was that customers would be given reasons as to why their insurance premium had increased. This is not happening and customers are being fobbed off with generic excuses.
“The establishment of a National Claims Information Database was another key recommendation. The legislation to establish the database was to be enacted by the end of 2017, however it has not even been introduced and looks unlikely to come before the Dáil until at least the second half of 2018.
“These issues are all being set to the side by a government which is not serious about standing up for consumers.
“Fine Gael has shown no interest in tackling the issue of high insurance costs. As a result, motorists, businesses, charities and sports clubs are being ripped off. These high premiums could potentially threaten competitiveness and affordability and the government needs to wake up to the seriousness of this issue”.